Motivated by patient-specific computational modelling in the context of image-guided brain surgery, we propose a new fuzzy mesh-free modelling framework. The method works directly on an unstructured cloud of points that do not form elements so that mesh generation is not required. Mechanical properties are assigned directly to each integration point based on fuzzy tissue classification membership functions without the need for image segmentation. Geometric integration is performed over an underlying uniform background grid. The verification example shows that, while requiring no hard segmentation and meshing, the proposed model gives, for all practical purposes, equivalent results to a finite element model. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.